April 8, 2013

Allow three bowlers to bowl 12 overs each in ODIs

It's time to tip the scales slightly in favour of the bowling side, and thereby improve the quality of the contest
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For a long time now, rule changes in ODIs have largely been geared towards helping batsmen score more runs, without caring about what it does to the balance of the contest between bat and ball. The Powerplays, the free hits for no-balls, and the reduction in the number of fielders allowed outside the circle in non-Powerplay overs, from five to four, are all examples of how the bowlers have been hit. Add to this meatier bats, smaller grounds, and batting beauties that go under the name of excellent pitches, and it's clear there's often little in it for bowlers in these matches.

The odd change has helped their cause - having two new balls helps fast bowlers outside the subcontinent - but those can hardly compensate for several others that go against the bowlers. In fact, this rule arguably favours batsmen on the slower tracks of the subcontinent, with the ball remaining hard for a longer period, and thus allowing batsmen to play their shots more comfortably. The five-inside-the-circle rule might, in theory, help the fielding team attack more, but on the flat tracks that ODIs are usually played on, it only denies the fielding team another boundary fielder.

The numbers show that ODI run rates have been steadily increasing over the decades, from 4.58 in the 1990s, to 4.89 in the 2000s, to 5.02 since the beginning of 2010. The rate in each year of ODI cricket since 2007 has been more than 4.90.

To redress the balance, it's time to allow the best bowlers in a team to bowl more overs. This isn't a new idea, and has even been adopted by the Indian board for the 2012-13 domestic season (one bowler from each team can bowl a maximum of 12 overs, with the others bowling not more than ten). Anil Kumble, who played a major role in introducing this change, and is a big fan of easing the ten-over limit: "I believe that 12 overs for one bowler in the one-dayers will not only provide a better contest between bat and ball but will also bring in more room for strategising for the captains."

I'd go further and allow three bowlers 12 overs, which will allow the best ones a greater say in the game. It'll give the captains more options, and help neutralise the effect of the batting Powerplays.

Currently, captains are often forced to use their best bowlers during this period, leaving them thin on resources during the final overs of an innings. These extra six overs will allow captains to use the best bowlers during the batting Powerplay and yet have overs from them left to utilise towards the end of the innings.

The best bowlers bowling more overs will also enhance the quality of the contest, with the fifth bowler needing to bowl fewer overs. In turn, it'll force batsmen to score off the better bowlers, instead of waiting to milk the fifth bowler.

There's also a case to similarly increase the number of overs a bowler can bowl from four to five in T20 internationals. Anything that enhances the contest between bat and ball needs to be encouraged; at the moment, it's mostly one-way traffic, with batsmen getting all the advantages.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nampally on April 9, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    I am not quite see how increasing the bowling limit from 10 to 12 will address the current imbalance. Currently, all Captains favour more all-rounders in their team. The Author's suggestion implies the 5th bowler weakness is OK! A team will comprise: 6 specialist batsmen + 4 specialist bowlers + 1 bowling all- rounders. Even now, most teams field 2 Bowling All -rounders. To balance the game between bowlers & batsmen, I have following suggestions: 1. Stay with 85 M boundary instead of current 75M. 2. Move the 30 M circle to 45 M. This will permit fielders any where upto 45 M mark & avoid total dependence on 4 fielders on the fence. 3. Allow just 2 Power plays - One Bowling (in first 15 overs) & one Batting (in Last 15 overs) - instead of current 3. Typically extra cover, third man, square leg, long on & long off are the only deep fielders. Longer boundary & a 45 M deep fielder will cut any batsman advantage.Just increasing to 12 overs/bowler will not address the current imbalance!

  • Andy_Wright on April 8, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    Personally I think you could go even further and implement a system where you have 13 overs for two bowlers and 12 for the other two, so as to allow 4-bowler setups to work. Currently the system strongly encourages every team to play an all-rounder, many of whom frankly aren't international quality, which gives rise to the prominence of the dreaded "bits-and-pieces" cricketer. The only other option is to play 5 specialist bowlers, which very few teams ever do because only having 6 frontline batsmen including the 'keeper is a massive gamble.

    Looking at the primary concern of other comments on this article, I don't think this would encourage the batting side any more than it already does, since most teams play 7 batsmen anyway (including the often questionable all-rounder). However it would give teams who don't have a world-class all-rounder more flexibility. And there's nothing to stop teams picking an all-rounder anyway as a 5th bowler/7th bat if they have one that's worth his salt.

  • on April 8, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    Why even restrict the bowlers in the first place? If this a real contest between batsmen and bowlers then a captain should be allowed to use any bowler however long he pleases. There is no restriction on how many overs a BATSMAN can BAT !!

  • on April 8, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    Firstly, I do not agree with the first two sentences of this article. Powerplays have been introduced to counteract the drab, risk free passages of play during overs 15-40 which had become commonplace, and had made for unexciting cricket. The free hit rule was designed to create a greater incentive for bowlers to bowl legal deliveries, and thereby increase over rates. Consequently, the number of front foot no balls per match seems to have decreased. While the five-inside-the-circle rule does hit bowlers, it has also encouraged the use of a fifth specialist bowler as opposed to a barrage of part timers.

    To avoid the potential problem of teams running with 3-4 bowlers, why not introduce a mandatory amount of overs as well as a cap? Possibly 5 bowlers bowling a minimum of 8 overs each, and having a maximum of 12-14 overs for any bowler. This would both preserve the need of good all round cricketers, while increasing the quality of bowling on display in general.

  • Navin262k on April 8, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Rajesh, It is a good idea to create a contest between bat and ball. There are lot of points that might not have been given due consideration properly. There are lot of countries which have and are able to produce quality 5 bowlers into their teams unlike India (this idea seems to be biased towards countries which cannot introduce quality bowlers into their teams). This will be a good excuse for countries like India to play only with three bowlers and rest part time bowlers. In the long run more batsman will come into teams and lot of good bowlers may go down the drain.This effect in the long run may produce lot more quality batsman and interesting matches but the bowlers number will finally melt down. We all believe that the introduction of powerplays ,gives unfair advantage to batsman but the countries which have proper cricket coaching structure would have already started concenterated on producing quality bowlers and more strategy planning captain in another 3-5 years down the line.

  • Clan_McLachlan on April 8, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    I don't fully agree. Currently teams are faced with an interesting selection problem - selecting a team to bowl the extra 10 overs that the four specialist bowlers can't. If you change up the 10-overs-per-bowler limit, all that will happen is that teams will inevitably start selecting more batsmen and budgeting for the max overs from each specialist bowler.

    Perhaps Kumble's one-bowler-bowls-12 rule is a good one, because captains and selectors still need to find 8 overs from the other 6 non-keeping members of the side. But further than that actually reduces the complexity of the game and devalues the role of multi-skilled all-rounders.

  • GMFoley on April 8, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    I'd actually advocate for 13 overs. Means you can get by with just the 4 bowlers if they are bowling well. It works wonderfully in the Aussie ODD, has reduced scores and as noted above, means that batsmen have to learn how to score off the good bowlers in the middle part of the innings, not the 'fifth bowler'. This doesn't mean however that they must bowl their quota. There will always be a role in the limited overs game for a part-timer who is good for 3-4 overs. Not all of your frontline bowlers will fire at once.

  • Insult_2_Injury on April 8, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    Nice idea, well reasoned. While we're at it, get rid of the rope and use the fence to bring back the idiosyncrasies of each countrys' grounds, rather than a 60m circle. We've now got TV crews measuring sixes at 100+ metres, so give the fielders a chance on ground balls. Also if a batsman switch hits, then he receives no more leg side wides in his innings. If a bowler is restricted to number of fielders outside ring and particularly on leg side, then why if a batsman changes stance, is it even considered leg side?

  • on April 8, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    A batsman who plays a rank bad shot is a goner, his game is over. On the other hand a bowler can bowl a rank bad ball will max get hit for a six but can still comeback and take a wicket. That explains why a bowler has an over limit. However, instead of just giving away 12 overs to 3 bowlers, what can be done is for every wicket after the first the bowler can be given an extra over, i.e. if he takes 2wkts in 10 overs he can bowl 11, 3wkts in 11 over he can bowl a 12th over and so on. This way the captain can't take just 3-4 bowlers and get away with it, he has to think. And this would encourage attacking cricket in ODIs.

  • US_Indian on April 8, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    I believe that many rules in cricket are more batsmen friendly and if the game has to be more interesting the rules should be balanced favoring both batsmen and bowlers equally. Maybe 12 overs each for atleast 2 bowlers and the leg side wide needs to be reversed as well it is surprising that anything which goes past the batsman on the leg side is called wide even if it is brushing the body or the body gears which is unfair towards the bowlers , the leg side wide could be declared if the ball pitches atleast 6 inches or the width of two stumps or more outside the leg stump and moves further down and if it is pitched within 6 inches and does not move and just passes the batsmen then it should not be a wide. Anything pitched on the stumps and moves away on the legside/offside should not be given a wide. One bouncer per over should be allowed in ODI& T20's and if the ball is waist hieght and above and if the batsman connects then it should not be called noball and if he cant then noball.

  • Nampally on April 9, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    I am not quite see how increasing the bowling limit from 10 to 12 will address the current imbalance. Currently, all Captains favour more all-rounders in their team. The Author's suggestion implies the 5th bowler weakness is OK! A team will comprise: 6 specialist batsmen + 4 specialist bowlers + 1 bowling all- rounders. Even now, most teams field 2 Bowling All -rounders. To balance the game between bowlers & batsmen, I have following suggestions: 1. Stay with 85 M boundary instead of current 75M. 2. Move the 30 M circle to 45 M. This will permit fielders any where upto 45 M mark & avoid total dependence on 4 fielders on the fence. 3. Allow just 2 Power plays - One Bowling (in first 15 overs) & one Batting (in Last 15 overs) - instead of current 3. Typically extra cover, third man, square leg, long on & long off are the only deep fielders. Longer boundary & a 45 M deep fielder will cut any batsman advantage.Just increasing to 12 overs/bowler will not address the current imbalance!

  • Andy_Wright on April 8, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    Personally I think you could go even further and implement a system where you have 13 overs for two bowlers and 12 for the other two, so as to allow 4-bowler setups to work. Currently the system strongly encourages every team to play an all-rounder, many of whom frankly aren't international quality, which gives rise to the prominence of the dreaded "bits-and-pieces" cricketer. The only other option is to play 5 specialist bowlers, which very few teams ever do because only having 6 frontline batsmen including the 'keeper is a massive gamble.

    Looking at the primary concern of other comments on this article, I don't think this would encourage the batting side any more than it already does, since most teams play 7 batsmen anyway (including the often questionable all-rounder). However it would give teams who don't have a world-class all-rounder more flexibility. And there's nothing to stop teams picking an all-rounder anyway as a 5th bowler/7th bat if they have one that's worth his salt.

  • on April 8, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    Why even restrict the bowlers in the first place? If this a real contest between batsmen and bowlers then a captain should be allowed to use any bowler however long he pleases. There is no restriction on how many overs a BATSMAN can BAT !!

  • on April 8, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    Firstly, I do not agree with the first two sentences of this article. Powerplays have been introduced to counteract the drab, risk free passages of play during overs 15-40 which had become commonplace, and had made for unexciting cricket. The free hit rule was designed to create a greater incentive for bowlers to bowl legal deliveries, and thereby increase over rates. Consequently, the number of front foot no balls per match seems to have decreased. While the five-inside-the-circle rule does hit bowlers, it has also encouraged the use of a fifth specialist bowler as opposed to a barrage of part timers.

    To avoid the potential problem of teams running with 3-4 bowlers, why not introduce a mandatory amount of overs as well as a cap? Possibly 5 bowlers bowling a minimum of 8 overs each, and having a maximum of 12-14 overs for any bowler. This would both preserve the need of good all round cricketers, while increasing the quality of bowling on display in general.

  • Navin262k on April 8, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Rajesh, It is a good idea to create a contest between bat and ball. There are lot of points that might not have been given due consideration properly. There are lot of countries which have and are able to produce quality 5 bowlers into their teams unlike India (this idea seems to be biased towards countries which cannot introduce quality bowlers into their teams). This will be a good excuse for countries like India to play only with three bowlers and rest part time bowlers. In the long run more batsman will come into teams and lot of good bowlers may go down the drain.This effect in the long run may produce lot more quality batsman and interesting matches but the bowlers number will finally melt down. We all believe that the introduction of powerplays ,gives unfair advantage to batsman but the countries which have proper cricket coaching structure would have already started concenterated on producing quality bowlers and more strategy planning captain in another 3-5 years down the line.

  • Clan_McLachlan on April 8, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    I don't fully agree. Currently teams are faced with an interesting selection problem - selecting a team to bowl the extra 10 overs that the four specialist bowlers can't. If you change up the 10-overs-per-bowler limit, all that will happen is that teams will inevitably start selecting more batsmen and budgeting for the max overs from each specialist bowler.

    Perhaps Kumble's one-bowler-bowls-12 rule is a good one, because captains and selectors still need to find 8 overs from the other 6 non-keeping members of the side. But further than that actually reduces the complexity of the game and devalues the role of multi-skilled all-rounders.

  • GMFoley on April 8, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    I'd actually advocate for 13 overs. Means you can get by with just the 4 bowlers if they are bowling well. It works wonderfully in the Aussie ODD, has reduced scores and as noted above, means that batsmen have to learn how to score off the good bowlers in the middle part of the innings, not the 'fifth bowler'. This doesn't mean however that they must bowl their quota. There will always be a role in the limited overs game for a part-timer who is good for 3-4 overs. Not all of your frontline bowlers will fire at once.

  • Insult_2_Injury on April 8, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    Nice idea, well reasoned. While we're at it, get rid of the rope and use the fence to bring back the idiosyncrasies of each countrys' grounds, rather than a 60m circle. We've now got TV crews measuring sixes at 100+ metres, so give the fielders a chance on ground balls. Also if a batsman switch hits, then he receives no more leg side wides in his innings. If a bowler is restricted to number of fielders outside ring and particularly on leg side, then why if a batsman changes stance, is it even considered leg side?

  • on April 8, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    A batsman who plays a rank bad shot is a goner, his game is over. On the other hand a bowler can bowl a rank bad ball will max get hit for a six but can still comeback and take a wicket. That explains why a bowler has an over limit. However, instead of just giving away 12 overs to 3 bowlers, what can be done is for every wicket after the first the bowler can be given an extra over, i.e. if he takes 2wkts in 10 overs he can bowl 11, 3wkts in 11 over he can bowl a 12th over and so on. This way the captain can't take just 3-4 bowlers and get away with it, he has to think. And this would encourage attacking cricket in ODIs.

  • US_Indian on April 8, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    I believe that many rules in cricket are more batsmen friendly and if the game has to be more interesting the rules should be balanced favoring both batsmen and bowlers equally. Maybe 12 overs each for atleast 2 bowlers and the leg side wide needs to be reversed as well it is surprising that anything which goes past the batsman on the leg side is called wide even if it is brushing the body or the body gears which is unfair towards the bowlers , the leg side wide could be declared if the ball pitches atleast 6 inches or the width of two stumps or more outside the leg stump and moves further down and if it is pitched within 6 inches and does not move and just passes the batsmen then it should not be a wide. Anything pitched on the stumps and moves away on the legside/offside should not be given a wide. One bouncer per over should be allowed in ODI& T20's and if the ball is waist hieght and above and if the batsman connects then it should not be called noball and if he cant then noball.

  • ramab on April 8, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    Interesting article. I agree that the one day game (atleast) is more geared towards batsmen. I understand where Rajesh is coming from, but looking at it from other point of view - say 3 bowlers bowl a total of 36 overs and the other bowler bowls 10 overs, which leaves with only 4 overs. This would mean that the teams would most likely to choose a proper extra batsmen than even choosing an semi allrounder. This move may not work as teams would use Raina's or Sewag's or even Kohli's to finish the 4 overs. I think it would be better off to just allow one bowler for 12 overs instead of 3.

  • Tal_Botvinnik on April 10, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    I Beleive that since there is 12 overs per player. a total of 48 overs can be bowled by 4 bowlers with a part timer taking on the 2 overs. Which means the teams would to increase their batters up to seven. Thus it would mean the batsmen would be more aggresive than usual because of the additional batsmen. Thus this will counter ballance the "Good Baller Effect".

    And if one good baller does not a good day it means party for the batsmen.

  • anton_ego on April 9, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    I hate this phenomenon called 'bowling all-rounder'. Youngsters are misdirected to pursue both the aspects of cricket equally well, unless the person is as gifted as one-in-a-billion like a Kallis or a Sobers or an Imran Khan. We are seeing Parnell preferred over philander in T20. Jadeja preferred over Ojha. Peterson preferred over Tahir. This sets a bad precedent. After all its not their fault to pursue one aspect of the game, which is what youngsters are taught to do from the beginning. This ugly phenomenon is dictating the T20s now (we are seeing IPL teams play as many as 4 all-rounders). And slowly creeping into ODIs. This wont take long to hit the Tests, or has it already? (Jadeja..!!)

  • on April 9, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    This will definitely impair the bowlers. Ya the bowlers in the team and the captain will be benefited. But the number of people who choose bowing as a career will be diminished. Now most teams have 5+4+1+1 combination. Your suggestion will mean a 5+3+2+1 combination is enough to complete the 50 over quota. That's not good news for bowlers sitting in the bench.

  • adonis.warrior on April 9, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    I would rather give option to bowl unlimited overs to bowler... it should be completely captains logic to use which bowler at what time... why only batsmen have option to bat as long as wicket falls.....

  • Dhanno on April 9, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    Frankly I am not getting how this move can help india or any team ? India doesnt have one good ODI bowler, let alone 3 to make use of such rule. It will be a good change though, it will expose the teams which do not have decent bowlers (i.e most teams) and put incentive on developing bowling stocks. Also the other aspect of 3 bowlers bowling 36 overs is: Avg batsman who thrive on flat pitches/ short boundaries/ 20 or more overs from avg bowlers (assuming a team has 3 good bowlers) will have a tough time. It will be delight to see Raina/ Yuvi/ Rohit and the likes having to face quality bowling for bulk of time against teams like SA or pakistan. Yes the shame is not many teams have 3 good bowlers. I can see batsman still flourishing against the likes of BD/ Eng (whose ODI bowling isnt top notch)/ even Aus/ WI/ NZL who dont have 3 top quality bowlers.

  • on April 8, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    With this, there is a chance that teams start playing with 4 bowlers instead of 5 as fifth bowler has to bowl only 4 overs now. so this means 1 bowler less included into the team so bowler will get less chance to represent their country and in fact one more batsman in the team means this rule will again in favor of batsman

  • Ashique129 on April 8, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    Good idea! Like it! One may also ponder the other side of the story: a team can choose to have only three genuine bowlers and one 'OK' bowler to get to 46 overs. These days hardly any team fields 5 genuine bowlers (barring South Africa, but that changes when Kallis retires). Will this proposed change reduce the number of specialist bowlers available, Rajesh?

  • on April 8, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Stupid idea. And for those of you saying that if a batsman can play as many overs he wants then why don't the bowlers can bowl as much as they want, I would say you can't compare a bowler with a batsman. A bowler can comeback after being hit for a six, but a batsman can't come back if he is out. The game is already much in favor of the bowler!

  • on April 8, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    That would leave even fewer slots for bowlers in the team.

  • Sunrays on April 8, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    I think one way to even up the contest, force captains to be more attacking is to give the right to the batting captain to nominate a bowler (anyone batting from 7-11) from the opposing team who MUST BOWL 10 overs. This way captains will be forced to pick the five best bowlers available.

  • RaviNarla on April 8, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Dhoni would be the first one to welcome this proposition. India always were left wanting for the fifth bowler and that is were India leaked more runs. It even out the contest between bat and ball in true match situations that go down the wire.

  • on April 8, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    This rule seems very fascinating, but Actually this rule would go against the bowlers. Reasons: 1- Teams would select two less specialist bowlers and select extra batsman, part-timers or bowling all-rounders. 2- Injuries for bowlers is a big issue at the moment. It would increase due to extra load on best bowlers. 3- Less bowlers would get chance to get in the team. so ultimately we may loose good talent. As indicated by Navin262k, In the long-run it would heart bowlers more than anyone else.

  • Omarrz on April 8, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    This rule will most likely suit Indian bowling.

  • Nutcutlet on April 8, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    This is what you get with limited overs format cricket - endless suggestions about how the rules can be tinkered to produce... what? More 'excitement'? A better balance between bat & ball? More TV friendly coverage? All revisions are scions of the true game & so long as no one forgets that, then tinker away -- endlessly. It's all a bit like the food industry, with their colourful packaged meals of highly questionable food value. In the end only the gold standard will count for anything: Test cricket is le cordon blu & that uses fresh, unrestricted ingredients only!

  • Selassie-I on April 8, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Good idea in principle, however wouldn't this make teams only ever consider playing 4 bowlers and using part timers to make up the other 4. Thus also strengthening the batting order?

  • shery2floyd on April 8, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    agree but should go further, no limit for one bowler and has to be published when team is declared. others limited to 10. that will make game more interesting.

  • Romanticstud on April 8, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    I reckon the 3 bowler 12 overs each would work providing an 8 over restriction be placed on the other bowlers ... allowing 6 overs from a 5th bowler still to be bowled ... Another thing Id like to see is that bowlers be allowed the same space leg side as on the off side for wides and the LBW law be changed to suit a ball pitching outside leg that would hit the stumps ... affording leg-spinners more opportunity ... Batting and Bowling Powerplays should be made to be taken between overs 20-40 ... Fielding restrictions should be in place in the 1st 10 overs only and give the captain more freedom of attacking during the bowling powerplay ... with 3 close fielders ... but also 3 boundary fielders ... these should be in place too for each powerplay ...

  • D-Train on April 8, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    In the Ryobi Cup bowlers are allowed to bowl 13 overs. I actually quite like the rule because it allows the best bowlers to keep bowling, but from a batting perspective it allows you to play an extra pure batsman instead of a flimsy bits and pieces all-rounder type like Henriques, McLaren ect.

    So from a spectators perspective you get better quality batsmen and better quality bowlers.

  • josh.davis on April 8, 2013, 13:36 GMT

    I agree with the sentiment of trying to make the limited over formats less batsman dominated, but a potential result of this idea could be teams feeling more comfortable playing 7 batsmen (1 of whom could bowl 4 overs), keeper and 4 bowlers, as the part timer would only need to cover the 4 overs not bowled by the other 4. Meaning a deeper batting line up and potentially 4 overs of pies as an allrounder may not be worth his place if he's only needed to provide 24 balls.

  • ansram on April 8, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    Why 12 overs? It could be more, like 15 or it could have no limits. If a captain wants to use just two bowlers, so be it.

  • on April 8, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    This will favor teams like India, SL more where they play with lot of part timers and 1-2 strike bowlers. Imagine Dhoni having luxary of using only 4 bowlers... he will go with as many as 9 batsman. This will further move contents in favor of batsman as they will be having more batsman lined up in team allowing them to play more attacking ...

  • on April 8, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    T20 & ODI's should be purged in to a single 35 over format with fast bowlers getting a new ball for the entire game whereas spin bowlers can use an old ball from the start There should be 7 overs max per bowler. This format should provide more entertainment and also some quality batting and bowling which is lacking in T20's which are just meant for entertainment.

  • on April 8, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    This rule, although in the short run will contribute to closer contests between bat and ball, will eventually discourage teams from playing more than 4 frontline bowlers. Why is it being considered a negative that a fielding captain's hands are tied due to powerplays and death overs? He could as well play 5 frontline bowlers, and if the nation does not have 5 quality bowlers, then it should rightly be a disadvantage to the nation. This rule will eventually only contribute to encouraging selection of more batsmen, and further into the future, might even discourage youngsters from picking bowling over batting since there are a reduced number of bowling places in an XI.

  • on April 8, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    ODI's more important than ever. With IPL a none event over here, Just read 185,000 viewers for yesterday's IPL game on ITV4 - 60%+ are Indian expats. UK viewers not even slightly interested in IPL.Whereas ODI's are massively popular, and always pull full houses, Sadly - even domestic T20 has been declining year on years since 2009. But ODI's need to rebalance batting and bowling. Why not have a 48 over match? 4 bowlers - 12 overs each. Most sides would not want to go into this with "bits and pieces" bowlers as having 3 front liners and a couple of "bits and pieces" bowlers would expose them for 25% of the innings rather than 20% they are exposed with the 4+[a made up fifth]. Captains may still want choices though. As the game progresses having a second spinner or someone suited to whatever conditions prevail would always be a bonus. Intersting choices, but the option of a bowler afecting 25% of deliveries...which is still half of the deliveries that many batsmen end up competing i

  • yoogi on April 8, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    One glaring problem would be some captains will be tempted go with just four good bowlers hoping to get just 4 overs from part-timers. But Anils original idea of just 1 bowler getting the extra two overs or two bowlers sharing 1 over each is quite nice reward for the bowlers. Also batsmen could be restricted to not facing more than 120 balls before seventh wicket falls! The set batsmen need to score quicker. Also, the problem with DW-L, is that it expects the best bowlers and batsman to finish their quota first. While it is the norm for the batsmen, but it cannot be expected from spinners. Also if the contest is being reduced at 15th over, and the best bowler still has 5 more overs (or 50 percent) he should be allowed to bowl at least two more overs. But if the contest is reduced to just 25 overs a side, then the best bowler will be denied his remaining overs.It happened in BL win over SL, malinga didnt get one more over to go at BL. Hope they will spot the problem soon.

  • on April 8, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Also we should give some flexibility in terms of leg side bowling. Now any ball on the leg side, even it is so close to the leg stump is declared wide. Come on guys, let us be reasonable. We can have a guide line for the leg side that will be half the size of the off side guide line. This will allow the bowler to concentrate on the middle-leg line more, rather than bowling wide outside off stump.

  • NumberXI on April 8, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    As attractive as the idea sounds, the most likely outcome will be that the present 7 batsmen + 4 bowlers formula will promptly be ditched by teams like India to play 8 batsmen + 3 bowlers. It is likely to be extremely damaging for career prospects as an all-rounder as well!

  • anton1234 on April 8, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    I really don't see the need for ODIs. The only reason why ODIs are still going is because the ICC sold long term TV deals that it has to honour. Please make the 2015 world cup in Australiasia the last ever ODIs to be played professionally.

    T20s are popular, so why not just run with that? Cricket really doesn't help itself. I know ODIs bring in gate revenues and pre-agreed TV income, but three formats is just confusing and and there simply isn't any cohesiveness in the cricketing calender. It all seems like a bunch of random matches played to bring in gate and TV money. Even the Ashes, which even some non-cricket fans use to look forward to in the UK and Australia, has gone off the radar even in the consciousness of even cricket fans.

  • NixNixon on April 8, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    In cricket the best allround team wins, I am affraid that the only countries that will back this idea are those who only have one good bowler. Like pakistan, they only have adjmal and would obviously want him to bowl all 50 overs, but it cant work like that!

  • SASANK360 on April 8, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    That is not a good idea. Instead give bowlers a second bowling powerplay. That helps even low quality bowlers and gives them some confidence. @Syed_imran_abbas---You are right mate. In every ODI game India has one good bowler(the rest are hopeless) and this new rule will be exploited. Also the rule of 'new balls from both the ends' must be made an option. Not a rule. Because of the above rule, reverse swing, a potent weapon in death overs, is taken away from the equation. And fast bowlers feel handicapped. I feel ICC must rethink this new ball rule and make it an option, so that we can see some dominance from good 'reverse swing' exponents.

  • py0alb on April 8, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Great, so a team could then play 7 specialist batsmen. That will really shift the balance in favour of the bowlers, won't it?

    Agree that free hits should be removed along with powerplays and other spurious rules.

    If you want to make it more exciting and varied, a far better idea would be to award bonus points for chases completed inside 30 overs, or for bowling the team batting second out.

  • jackthelad on April 8, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    There should be five nominated bowlers and they can bowl as many overs each as the captain wishes, with the proviso that every named bowler must bowl at least one over. There are far too many fussy, fiddly rules in the One-Day game.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on April 8, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    not a good idea.. its maybe an effort to make indian team more strong as their bowling is weakest link.

  • soumyas on April 8, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    FREE HITS should be removed, pitches should help SEAM or TURN with more moisture to help SWING... Batting power play still GOOD because it brings little bit changes to monotonous nature of ODIs and also increases chance of fall of wickets.

  • Imranzia on April 8, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    worst thing is when a batsman plays the most difficult shot in the book, the straight drive, and the ball deflect of the bowler to get the no stricker run out. there is no skill on the part of the bowler to get a run out and it is unfair. he should hold the ball and throw it a mere deflection shoulndt be allowed.

  • Mr.PotatoesTomatoes on April 8, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Not in the long-term interests of the game.The present quota underlines the importance of having a rounded,quality bowling attack, and drives home the message that cricket is a team game where it's never a good idea to support and encourage differences between players.I like the idea that bowlers are given equal opportunities, not more, not less, to have an impact for their teams.

    One can't help but detect that the genesis of the idea might have something to do with providing batting heavy sides more of a chance to hide their weakness:poor or mediocre bowling, and further leverage their batting edge.While this might make for more competitive cricket for some time, it will surely kill bowling in such countries.

  • Meety on April 8, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    @ stalefresh on (April 8, 2013, 4:02 GMT) - Oz tried split innings & ditched it. From what I saw, it bred a lot of negativity from the batsmen. Also there seemed to be many instances of the match basically being over by the 1/2 way point as Team A were 5/70 off 20 overs & Team B were 1/100 at the same time, meaning it was almost impossible for Team A to win. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with your other 2 points!

  • soumyas on April 8, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    How to utilize bowlers before they finish their 10 overs quota is a tricky one and captain's "Art of captaining" is judged on such situations... Batting a long innings by playing SAFE against the main bowler and then targeting the part time bowlers is also a a tricky one and batsman's patience and "Art of batting" is judged... Genuine all rounders are hard to find now a days and allowing 12 overs to main bowlers will discourages all rounders and "Art of captaining and batting" mentioned above... Bottom line is "Limited available resource forces captain to think which encourages innovation in sports".

  • Meety on April 8, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    "...This isn't a new idea, and has even been adopted by the Indian board for the 2012-13 domestic season..." - Australia have had this type of rule in place for several seasons now. In Oz it has been interesting in that, good batsmen still score runs (& quickly), but we have a situation where bowlers are now taking amazing amount of wickets per match. Kane Richardson 21 wickets in 6 games, Sandhu 14 wickets in 4 matches are great returns. I think it leads to better cricket as there is less of the "boring" types of bowlers who just bowl non-descript deliveries in the order to concede just one run per ball, & the batsmen take up the bait & work singles NOT boundaries. It gives the fielding captain a lot more options, I haven't really much of a change in the make up of sides though. IF, this rule was brought in (or some variation) at International level, I'd like to see a rule where there has to be 3 bowlers who bowl a min. of 4 overs, this creates risk v reward.

  • laptope001 on April 8, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Why not make max. over limit to a bowler as 25! Guys here point is not to make a new rule. But a rule that can enhance contest, So, I beleive only 1 bowler at max 12. Others as usual 10 over quota.

  • venkatesh018 on April 8, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    Disagree with Navin 262K. How many countries take the option of fielding 5 specialist bowlers in a ODI XI ? Even countries with surplus bowling talents like South Africa, Australia and England prefer have a part-timer as their fifth bowler. I know this rule change will play right into the hands of defensive captains like Dhoni but the overall health of the ODI game needs to be taken care of. To keep the ODI game relevant and watchable in the modern context, such tweaks have to be done to keep the balance between bat and ball right. With 15 overs of Powerplays and only four fielders outside the ring throughout the 50 overs, some power to the bowlers is long overdue.

  • Harpreet on April 8, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    I have been thinking about the same for a very long time, But in a slightly different way. Allow 1 bowler to bowl 15 overs/or more than 10 (no limit on it).

    And to balance the things - allow one of the batsmen to bat two times.

    By this doing fielding sides would be really worried as how to get one particular batsman twice & batting side on how to play in rhythm bowler

  • rashivkd on April 8, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Allowing one bowler to bowl 12 over is good idea as it will give your best bowler to bowl both in batting power plays and death. But allowing three bowlers to bowl 12 look like it will helps the bowlers, but in fact it doesn't. Because, the teams will looking to reduce the number of bowlers in the team to 3 and an all rounder, the remaining 4 they can make up from here and there. That means 7 batsmen + an all rounder is a long batting line up and again it will turn to be a batsmen dominating game.

  • shibuvin on April 8, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    Allow 12 overs each to three bowlers? Funny!!! This will give an option to the captains to opt for eight strong batsmen (Including two part time bowlers/all rounder) and three bowlers. which again become batsman's game.

  • on April 8, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    The idea is great, and it is used in Australian Domestic limited overs. However, it is a bit contradicting because it might not be used the way you have pointed out. Teams will end up picking 3 frontline bowlers, ending up with 8 batsmen, out of which 2 can bowl part-time to fill up the remaining 14 overs. Hence we end up with a new dilemma of 8 batsmen a side, with batting line-ups ever so deeper, once again the issue will be a batsman favourable game.

  • zenboomerang on April 8, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    Most of the arguments against this idea are quite pointless - in Oz we play the Ryobi Cup with 3 bowlers allowed 13 overs & it hasn't changed teams by very much - 7 bowlers used by WA in this match - http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/576122.html

    It may lead to less matches with big totals but it does seem to even up the contest more between bat & ball with a number of close & exciting games during the season...

    This match http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/576121.html included 11 bowlers from both teams (6/5) in a good scoring match that was won with 1 ball remaining... I cannot see any of the hypothetical weakness in either the bowling or batting coming from increasing the allowable overs for 3 bowlers bowling 39 overs...

  • trex1981 on April 8, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    @Soumyas, an increase in the maximum number of overs allowed per bowler won't mean that a bowler will necessarily have to bowl more overs

  • guptahitesh4u on April 8, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Those who are saying that 12 overs means a heavy load for the bowlers, the proposed change is not to make it mandatory...if required, captain should be able to ask three bowlers to bowl 12 overs...its just like current rule. The cap is set to "10" overs that does not mean a bowler must bowl 10 overs

  • ladycricfan on April 8, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    No more rule changes and get rid of some of the rules. Power plays and field restrictions diminish captains role. It is the captains who should set the field according to the opposition, according to the condition of the pitch and weather and according to the game situation, like in test matches. Simplify the game.

  • on April 8, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    Really like Saishankar Rajeev's idea, it would make the game very interesting.

  • soumyas on April 8, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Rajesh, good idea on paper.. But my question is, have u ever played cricket in a hot sunny day and ever tried to bowl fast ? if not, just 4 overs under the hot sun will drain all your energy and you get tired. In tests it is OK because they don't run too much for fielding. But in One day matches where Run rate is also important it is very difficult for a fast bowler to finish 10 overs quota. So making it 12 will make bowler's job much more difficult and even quality bowlers may struggle in their last overs. which may spoil their overall performances.

  • jimbond on April 8, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    This will reduce the advantage for strong teams. Weak teams that are dependent on a few bowlers will benefit from this rule change, and it will become less of a team game. Teams with good bowlers and allrounders (read SA and Pakistan) will be disadvantaged by this rule change.

  • nzcricket174 on April 8, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Rather than bringing in more rules, surely eliminating rules in ODIs would make more sense. There are some many rules it is difficult to understand. Fielders should be allowed to go anywhere, boundaries should not be limited, bowlers should be allowed to bowl as they like. At the moment there are too many regulations in the game. The game needs to be simplified: bowler bowls the ball to batsman, batsman hits the ball.

  • shayxin on April 8, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    I'm not so sure that this change would actually be beneficial to bowlers. Sure, it would benefit the better ones, but it would also make sure that teams pick three gun bowlers, then two batsmen who can bowl a little. The quality of bowlers 4 and 5 will drop even lower than it already has (I'm looking at you, Maxwell), and depth will suffer.

  • Shams on April 8, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Bring back the 12 players per side rule with one change. The teams should name their playing 11 *after* the toss. Naming the 11 *before* the toss was what made it unfair when it was tried previously. That should allow more excitement in terms of better batters, bowlers, and fielders getting to play in the same match.

  • towf on April 8, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    One major change I think should deal with draws. Test cricket/first class cricket takes more than one day and it can end up in a draw. Limited overs cricket should not be limited to such.

    Forget all the powerplays and if a team batting second cannot reach the target and lose less wickets than the side batting first then the match should be declared a draw. In this way a team will be forced to take more wickets and this will add more value to a wicket in limited overs cricket.

  • Mitty2 on April 8, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    No. Can't happen. This way the less than semi all-rounders in Maxwell and henriques will still be in the international set up. And the more I see them, the more I want to give up on Australian cricket and bandwagon the saffers.

  • WildAmigo on April 8, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    The biggest draw back for bowlers in ODIs which is killing it also is the "two new ball rule" the slow bowlers and medium pacers are ignored in this rule and so the reverse swing is vanished.

  • on April 8, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Batsmen dont have a limit on how long they can bat then why do bowlers have a limit.

  • Vasant17 on April 8, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Why should there be a restriction on a bowler? If a batsman can bat how ever long he wants(of-course without getting out), same should apply to a bowler. If a bowler is strong enough to bowl 25 overs, let him bowl! "There should NOT be any restriction on the number of overs a player can bowl!" thats what I feel. Please someone tell me why there is a restriction on number of overs a bowler can bowl. Even if we bring this rule in place, teams still play with at-least 4 bowlers because of the following reasons 1. A bowler will not have the same level of energy/stamina after bowling 10 overs. 2. Captains will still need variety of bowlers (pace/spin(leg/off) to restrict runs/pick wickets.

  • venkatesh018 on April 8, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    I will go even further. Allow 2 bowlers to bowl a max. of 15 overs in ODIs while the rest are allowed a max. of 10 overs. While removing the bits-and-pieces cricketer from the ODIs, this move will lead to a much more even contest between bat and ball. Bowling 15 overs in a time span of 3 and half hours will also improve the stamina of the ODI bowlers and ease their transition to Test cricket. Imagine facing Steyn and Morkel on a seaming pitch and facing Ashwin and Jadeja on a turner for 30 out of 50 overs in a ODI. The batsmen will earn their runs if such a move is approved.

  • stalefresh on April 8, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    Does not work for me cause now teams will be looking for extra batsmen. I agree with the intent, but don't see it playing out. One day cricket needs 3 changes:

    1. Split the innings to 25 overs each. Let the team with a higher run to wicket ratio after 25 overs decide if they would like to bat or bowl first in the second half of the match. This will ensure a competition within a competition and even use of conditions with a slight advantage to the team ahead after 25 overs.

    2. Scheduling of matches needs to be fixed. Random ODI series should be banned.

    3. Pitches. Needs to approved by ICC for even contest between bat and bowl.

  • Clyde on April 8, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    As I recall, ODI is adulterated cricket anyway. I understand it has certain periods when the fielders cannot operate freely, so that the batsmen can score more heavily. Now, the point is that I am probably wrong, because I don't know the rules of ODI. When it comes to the 20-over-a-side game, I certainly don't know the rules there, but this even shorter form could be more like cricket, because it may, for all I know, not have rules to make it easier for batsmen. Again, the point is I don't know. The shorter forms don't persuade me, because, taking short forms together, I am suspicious from the outset. That is, I think I may not be getting, for one thing, a decent attempt by the fielders to stop boundaries. What may have been fiddled with, for mysterious reasons? Hence, having seen enough fiddling with cricket, I am content to follow Tests alone, and would notice short forms only when there was discussion of how closely they resembled cricket.

  • on April 8, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    Far from helping the bowlers cause, this rule will sideline the bowlers further. 3 * 12 is 36. O, great so I just need three genuine bowlers to cover for 36 overs. The rest 14 overs can be bowled by part timers or batting all-rounders. So, pack the team with batsmen!!!!!!!

  • on April 8, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    Far from helping the bowlers cause, this rule will sideline the bowlers further. 3 * 12 is 36. O, great so I just need three genuine bowlers to cover for 36 overs. The rest 14 overs can be bowled by part timers or batting all-rounders. So, pack the team with batsmen!!!!!!!

  • Clyde on April 8, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    As I recall, ODI is adulterated cricket anyway. I understand it has certain periods when the fielders cannot operate freely, so that the batsmen can score more heavily. Now, the point is that I am probably wrong, because I don't know the rules of ODI. When it comes to the 20-over-a-side game, I certainly don't know the rules there, but this even shorter form could be more like cricket, because it may, for all I know, not have rules to make it easier for batsmen. Again, the point is I don't know. The shorter forms don't persuade me, because, taking short forms together, I am suspicious from the outset. That is, I think I may not be getting, for one thing, a decent attempt by the fielders to stop boundaries. What may have been fiddled with, for mysterious reasons? Hence, having seen enough fiddling with cricket, I am content to follow Tests alone, and would notice short forms only when there was discussion of how closely they resembled cricket.

  • stalefresh on April 8, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    Does not work for me cause now teams will be looking for extra batsmen. I agree with the intent, but don't see it playing out. One day cricket needs 3 changes:

    1. Split the innings to 25 overs each. Let the team with a higher run to wicket ratio after 25 overs decide if they would like to bat or bowl first in the second half of the match. This will ensure a competition within a competition and even use of conditions with a slight advantage to the team ahead after 25 overs.

    2. Scheduling of matches needs to be fixed. Random ODI series should be banned.

    3. Pitches. Needs to approved by ICC for even contest between bat and bowl.

  • venkatesh018 on April 8, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    I will go even further. Allow 2 bowlers to bowl a max. of 15 overs in ODIs while the rest are allowed a max. of 10 overs. While removing the bits-and-pieces cricketer from the ODIs, this move will lead to a much more even contest between bat and ball. Bowling 15 overs in a time span of 3 and half hours will also improve the stamina of the ODI bowlers and ease their transition to Test cricket. Imagine facing Steyn and Morkel on a seaming pitch and facing Ashwin and Jadeja on a turner for 30 out of 50 overs in a ODI. The batsmen will earn their runs if such a move is approved.

  • Vasant17 on April 8, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Why should there be a restriction on a bowler? If a batsman can bat how ever long he wants(of-course without getting out), same should apply to a bowler. If a bowler is strong enough to bowl 25 overs, let him bowl! "There should NOT be any restriction on the number of overs a player can bowl!" thats what I feel. Please someone tell me why there is a restriction on number of overs a bowler can bowl. Even if we bring this rule in place, teams still play with at-least 4 bowlers because of the following reasons 1. A bowler will not have the same level of energy/stamina after bowling 10 overs. 2. Captains will still need variety of bowlers (pace/spin(leg/off) to restrict runs/pick wickets.

  • on April 8, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Batsmen dont have a limit on how long they can bat then why do bowlers have a limit.

  • WildAmigo on April 8, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    The biggest draw back for bowlers in ODIs which is killing it also is the "two new ball rule" the slow bowlers and medium pacers are ignored in this rule and so the reverse swing is vanished.

  • Mitty2 on April 8, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    No. Can't happen. This way the less than semi all-rounders in Maxwell and henriques will still be in the international set up. And the more I see them, the more I want to give up on Australian cricket and bandwagon the saffers.

  • towf on April 8, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    One major change I think should deal with draws. Test cricket/first class cricket takes more than one day and it can end up in a draw. Limited overs cricket should not be limited to such.

    Forget all the powerplays and if a team batting second cannot reach the target and lose less wickets than the side batting first then the match should be declared a draw. In this way a team will be forced to take more wickets and this will add more value to a wicket in limited overs cricket.

  • Shams on April 8, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Bring back the 12 players per side rule with one change. The teams should name their playing 11 *after* the toss. Naming the 11 *before* the toss was what made it unfair when it was tried previously. That should allow more excitement in terms of better batters, bowlers, and fielders getting to play in the same match.